This subject provides basic training on how to approach great art and architecture. Focusing on selected exemplars students learn how to engage with and appreciate great artistic and architectural masterpieces. In each case, students will confront the philosophical questions raised by the work under scrutiny. Students are introduced to philosophical theories of art and put these to the test with reference to case studies - examples of great music, paintings, and literature from across the Western canon.
Students will be challenged to think about the following questions: Can art educate? Can art improve us morally? And if so, how? Can art build or edify moral character? If so, do different art forms do so differently? Is there any means to distinguish morally insightful from morally dubious art?
Key readings: Kant, Critique of Judgment (selections); Wittgenstein, Notes on Aesthetic; Loos, ‘Architecture’; Danto, Andy Warhol (chapter 3); Freud, The Ego and the Id; Lukacs, ‘Healthy or Sick Art?’; Belting, ‘Iconic Presence: Images in Religious Traditions’; Hume, ‘On the Standard of Taste’; Berger, Ways of Seeing (chapter 3); ); Cavell, ‘Taste and the Moral Sense, Collingwood, The Principles of Art (chapter 6); Wilde, ‘Lecture to Art Students’.